During my relax time over Summer break, I’ve gotten myself into reading some comics. I know I’m starting a bit late in my life, but hey, I’ve got a number of years left to see what the comic book world throws at me.

Anyhow, I’ve picked up three comic book volumes: Spider-Man Noir, Spider-Man Noir: Eyes Without A Face, and Kick-Ass. For an intro into comics, this was definitely a good start and I HIGHLY recommend all three of these volumes.

I’ll start with Spider-Man Noir. Holy freakin’ crap is it amazing. The 1930s is an excellent setting and allows for some nice costumes. One very noteworthy difference from the other Spider-Man “universes” (more on that in a bit) is that Spider-Man adorns a revolver and he’s not afraid to use it when necessary. To some that might cause alarm, but don’t worry, he’s not all bullet crazy mopping down every villain he sees. For the most part, he uses firearms as scare tactics or in last resort situations. While there are super powers and mutants in the Noir universe, they are used much more sparingly as they tend to keep themselves away from the public eye. Also, not every villain is the result of some form of mutation – and are just nicknames to specific traits that the particular villain or hero possesses.

I know the next Spider-Man movie is going to be a reboot, but seriously, how many different ways can you reboot a series without straying some distance from the source material? While I love Spider-Man and would prefer a closer to the original adaptation of it, I really, REALLY would LOVE to see a Spider-Man Noir adaptation. It has the potential to become fantastic and not just be another offshoot or reboot. Speaking of things I’d love to see, the new Spider-Man game. Noir is one of the dimensions you play in the game, but if you give me the entire game in the Noir universe, I’d be ecstatic (although Spider-Man 2099 is pretty awesome too). Anyhow, to summarize, I love Spider-Man Noir’s style (to be honest, I just love the 30s attire) and it’s gritty and more down-to-earth. I went to Noir straight from reading most of Ultimate Spider-Man – which I gotta say started out good, but got ridiculous real fast (teenage mutant drama anyone?) – and it’s a much more appreciated adaptation of the series.

The original Kick-Ass (by which I just mean the comic over the movie) is much more realistic. When I say realistic, I basically mean we don’t have the stereotypical girl next door turned girlfriend because I just so happen to be a costumed vigilante. Not to say that the way Kick-Ass’ love interest isn’t stereotypical in the comic, but let’s be honest (for those that have read it), the comic’s version of the Katie Deauxma is much more likely. Another interesting thing I’ve noted is the difference in events. While all the main events are shared between the comic and the film, a good portion of them happen for different reasons. I highly enjoyed both the comic and the film and would definitely recommend both of them. And a word to Roger Ebert: Lighten up a little. You took the movie a little to seriously.

To Wikipedia Morons: A synopsis is a brief summary, not a fucking novelized version of the ENTIRE DAMN STORY.

As I stated above, I’m going to talk about the Marvel and DC trend of having “universes” of their series. In short, every reboot and spin-off of a comic series they do, it effectively becomes an alternate universe in the Marvel/DC Universes (Seriously, we can’t call it the Marvel/DC Universe anymore now can we?). Anyhow, I simply ask, please stop. I’m fine with reboots, re-writes, spin-offs, whatever. Just stop integrating it all together. Leave it separate and standalone. All this bullshit of the universes somehow meeting each other and bullshit like that, it’s terrible writing that produces even more terrible writing. If you didn’t have the artists, the comics you produced with those storylines wouldn’t be worth the paper they were printed on. In my opinion, Marvel is the biggest offender in this category. If you want an example of what I’m talking about, read some of Marvel Zombies and you’ll see what I’m talking about (stupid multiverse crap).

To summarize, Spider-Man Noir is fantastic and I highly recommend picking up both volumes (reasonably priced at $14 each on Amazon [links in second paragraph]). Kick-Ass is also pretty good.